2018-2019 Choreographers

Maddie braxton

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Madeline Braxton is a Durham based artist, originally from Burlington, NC. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Interested in collaborative work, Madeline focuses on creating processed based work through a choreographic lense. In addition to concert dance, Madeline dabbles in creating Dance for the Camera. She received the “Audience Choice Award” for her film, “Ghost Pepper” at the 2016 Movies by Movers Film Festival. Loyal to her NC roots, Madeline has had the privilege to attend two consecutive summers as a scholarship student at the American Dance Festival, participating in the student choreography concert. Her most recent projects involve working with Raina Lucas// Dance Co. & Lab, performing premiere work in the 2016 Greensboro Fringe Festival and Tobacco Road Dance Productions: In Concert 2018. Madeline is thrilled to return to the TRDP community in 2019, as a featured choreographer

emily crofford


Emily Crofford (Winston-Salem, NC) is an investigative artist and educator interested in exploring the intimate connection dance offers both performers and viewers. Emily has taught contemporary dance technique, dance appreciation, conditioning, yoga, and creative movement to a vast spectrum of students across several states. Emily teaches jazz dance technique and modern dance history and technique at High Point University. She was also selected as one of Dance Project's Artist in Residence for Fall 2018. Additionally, her research involves integrating somatic and conditioning practices seamlessly into dancers' training. Her choreography was featured at several Cleveland Dance Showcases and American College Dance Association conferences. Emily has worked with numerous choreographers, including performing as part of the Corciano Festival, 53' Agosto Corcianese, in Corciano, Italy. Emily earned her MFA in Dance with a concentration in choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her BFA in Dance Education, education minor from Kent State University. She is also a certified yoga teacher.

marco orellana-portillo


Marco Orellana-Portillo has always been facinated with the arts from the age of 6 but was first introduced to dance in 2014 by his dance teacher at Chapel Hill High School and it was a perfect match. Since 2016, Marco has had the privilege of performing in Marsha Thomas’ “Over and Next” in TRDP’s 3rd season, Jess Shell’s “Totality” and Johanna Berliner’s “Just Heckin’ Do It” both in TRDP’s 4th Season, Megan Ross’ “Meep Like A Peep” performed in the Richmond Dance Festival 2018, and Jordan Davis’ “Hope Within One” performed at ADF’s 2018 Student Concert. Marco is currently a part of the work/trade opportunity at ADF’s Scripps Studios and helps people with nutritional and exercise habits at his family owned store, Bull City Nutrition.

Megan Payne

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Megan Payne is a Charlotte based movement maker, instructor and curator. She received a MFA in dance from Hollins University in partnership with the American Dance Festival, and a BFA in Dance from Ohio University. Her choreography has been presented at the American College Dance Festival, The American Dance Festival, NC Dance Festival, and the Detroit Dance City Festival, among other performance and film opportunities. Megan is currently a full time instructor at Dance Davidson and will be teaching and setting work this semester at UNCC. Professionally, Megan teaches and sets work as a freelance artist and is a contributing member of the Goodyear Arts Collective, and has been an artist in residence since its inception in 2015. Megan is also the co-director of repCLT, a North Carolina non-profit advocating research and exchange in performance, and the co-producer of ladyfestCLT, promoting dance and female makers in the southeast region. When Megan isn't dancing she's spending time with her husband, daughter Rooney, and pups Wyatt and Riggins. 

Silvia sheffield


Silvia Sheffield is a Durham-based dance artist from Rockbridge County, Virginia. She holds a BA in Dance and English from Oberlin College, and her work been presented by Tobacco Road Dance Productions, the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, the Shenandoah Fringe Festival, and the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. As a performer, Silvia strives to be brazenly vulnerable and mixes improvisation and dance theater to create visually striking dances. In her life outside of dance, Silvia reads a lot of romance novels, works in an academic library, and is steadily chipping away at a master's degree in library science. For more about Silvia, and her company Silvia Sheffield & Co., check out her website at www.silviasheffield.com.

Marsha Thomas


Marsha Thomas has a BFA from East Carolina University and a Professional Diploma from Laban Centre London. Her work as a dancer and choreographer has appeared with the Queen City Jazz Company, Blank Slate Dance Company, and Tobacco Road Dance Productions In Concert 2015, 2016. Currently, she dances for OM grown dancers in Durham. Marsha works for the year round program at ADF's Samuel H Scripps Studios, and continues to study dance at the American Dance Festival summer intensive. She teaches Pilates at the National Humanities Center, RTP, and is the Movement and Yoga teacher at Beth Or Synagogue, Raleigh. Marsha is excited to work and present her new choreography with the Tobacco Road Dance Productions in it's 5th season. Today Marsha owes her love, hope, and learning to her friends, family, and her 3 children.

Heather Tatreau


Heather Tatreau has a Master’s Degree in Dance Education from New York University.  While living in New York City, she trained in classic modern dance techniques as well as avant-garde performance styles and somatic disciplines. Heather has been teaching at universities across NC since 2003 and is currently on the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill. She teaches the modern dance technique and theory courses and has received numerous grants to design interdisciplinary courses across campus. She is also on the board of the NC Dance Education Organization as the director of fundraising and advocacy. Heather is a choreographer, director, and movement consultant as well. Since joining the faculty at UNC, she has created two original evening length dance theater pieces for the Department of Dramatic Arts. This season, she will present a new work in The Process Series. She will also be curating the Chapel Hill expansion of Stephanie Leather’s Sites project. Heather enjoyed serving as a panelist for the 2017-2018 Tobacco Road Dance Productions season and looks forward to being on the other side this year.